With authorities and scientists from various countries, Israel is holding this week its first international conference on marine and desert agriculture, with the aim of providing answers to the effects of the climate crisis and the growing food insecurity on the planet.
“We want Israel to be the center of the Mediterranean and the world for innovation in the aquaculture sector,” said Noam Mozes, head of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture’s marine aquaculture department, during a press briefing ahead of the conference.
“Israeli innovation can contribute a lot to the world,” added the official, whose portfolio seeks to encourage the “implementation” of the sector’s technology for local production and export.
The conference, which opens this Tuesday in the tourist city of Eilat, in southern Israel, will count until the 20th with the participation of ministers of agriculture, scientists and prominent businessmen from ten countries.
World food security faces various challenges that could worsen in the coming years due to factors such as population growth, global warming, rising sea levels and the decrease in fertile areas for agricultural crops.
In this context, the Government of Israel considers that “an important part of the future of world food must come from the sea and the desert”, so the conference in Eilat will be “aimed at promoting knowledge and technology in the field of marine and desert agriculture, and to strengthen research and business collaboration in this field.
NEW TECHNOLOGY AND EMERGING COMPANIES
In August, Israel launched a multi-year plan of nearly NIS 170 million (EUR 49.2 million) for the development of the city of Eilat and its surroundings as a national and international center for the production of food from the sea and the desert, in addition to promoting technological innovation and the launch of companies in the sector.
Scientists at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment are developing genetic technology to optimize captive farming of fish for human consumption.
“Three of our investigations are already being tested on a commercial scale,” one of them focuses on the production of female fish of the gray smooth species for farms and another on the creation of resistance against diseases, Professor Lior explained to Efe. David, expert in Animal Sciences.
In his laboratory, which houses some twenty huge pools with running water in which fish of different sizes swim, this scientist seeks to “produce more food (for humans) while reducing the negative impact on the environment.”
Another example of the thriving aquaculture sector is the company Simpliigood, located in Tel Mond, Israel, which produces high-quality biomass of spirulina algae on a large scale, through a production plant installed in the middle of a desert area.
“You only need solar energy, water and salt” to produce this algae that has become a popular nutritional supplement, says Baruch Dach, founder of the company, which markets ice cream, cookies, powder and even spirulina hamburgers through the Internet. .
The Eilat conference will include scientific symposiums and conferences to respond to the ever-increasing demand for seafood, while reducing global fishing pressure on the oceans.
There will also be a visit to the Eilat Marine Research Institute and several technology companies that promote innovation in the region, with opportunities for exchange with start-ups, investors and entrepreneurs.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.